BILT Speaker

BILT Speaker
RevitCat - Revit Consultant

Wednesday, 31 January 2018


It has concerned me for some time now that "RevitSpeak" is slowly but surely entering into common usage in the building industry around the world.

What do I mean by "RevitSpeak"?  Well, I mean the usage of words in the Revit User Interface that are not technically correct, or they are specifically American words that were not previously in common usage in other English speaking countries - some of these are now very commonly (mis)used in architects offices around the world.  One of the confusing things for me is that I no longer know if these words are 'incorrect', 'specific to Revit' or just common American words that are different to British, Australian, New Zealand etc construction terminology.

These days it is no good doing a search on the Internet because many of the results come up with examples from Revit models or drawings - so it does not clarify which are incorrect or just different.

Here are some examples:

1.   "Mullion" is defined as:
  • A mullion is a vertical bar between the panes of glass in a window (Oxford dictionary)
  • A mullion is a vertical element that forms a division between units of a window, door, or screen (Wikipedia)
  • In Revit, a Mullion can be a vertical or horizontal element between panes of glass (or other panels) on a curtain wall.  Now, this is just plain wrong!  A mullion should be strictly vertical.
  • A transom is the horizontal member in a curtain wall or window - although it seems that the American definition of a transom is the window pane over a door (ie. a "Fanlight" in correct English)
  • And what is a Muntin - pray tell?  Luckily that one doesn't appear in the Revit UI.
A random selection of images from the internet shows various conflicting results:
Image result for mullion definition
British definitions
Correct Curtain Wall Definitions
RevitSpeak Window

2.  Casework:
This may mean kitchen cabinetry in the USA, but to me it could mean, maybe working on a legal case?  The correct word is/was "Joinery" - I resolutely have all my libraries organised with a folder for Joinery families (with a 'Join' or 'JN' prefix/abbreviation).  However, more and more non-American Revit using people talk about Casework.

3.  Mark:
As far as I'm concerned Mark is a man's name; or maybe a spot or line (in the sand).  Somehow in Revit it refers to a Number (or #?) - I guess that is another Americanism?
Luckily its very easy to create a Shared Parameter called "Lot Number" or whatever you need - and that also avoids all those pesky "Duplicate Marks" (some kind of Revit twins?)

Or maybe it is a clever literary reference to the author of Huckleberry Finn?
Mark Twain?

4.  Family:
Talking of Twins, does anyone know what Family Planning in Revit is all about?   How many families have you created recently?  No one in a Revit using architect's office seems to think that is amusing any more.

I could go on . . . .


  1. don't get me started on that:
    window is fenêtre in french
    the frame for the drawing is also translated to window in revit (I got trouble with dynamo and some plugins that got all messed up because of that.

    the latest funny one is the varying translations over time: Zone de définition (before 2018) that became Définition de Zone (2018) (scope box). Trying to write protocole for the firm I am working with, It is hard to be consistent with the terminology.

    Casework and furniture are translated: Meuble de rangement (meaning storage cabinet in french) and mobilier (non fixed furniture). usually for casework we use fixed furniture (mobilier fixe) in projects terminology.

    basically, a big mess. But well, you get use to it, don't you?

  2. The Curtain Wall Tool should be renamed to paneled wall or something else as it clearly is a proper curtain wall that it produces. The tool itself needs some major improvements, I think the last change/improvement was curtain system by face back in version 7 I think.

  3. I think that's exactly where the "Classification Manager" (autodesk plugin) would work. We do not need to rename the entire program, we just need to translate the terms that each country adopts into the language of the machine.

    Obviously, the country has to have an "NBR" so that everyone adopts the same language and gets to work more effectively.

    I was just discussing this in a project, where communication problems between reviewers accustomed to CAD do not know how the information inside the model is accessed.

    "Hey Lucas, do this task for me?"
    (A very ridiculous task for him, like pulling the line of layer X)

    But that for me it took 2 days with the team of structure

    Sometimes I keep thinking about how things get more and more complex, and we can not agree on things like "Lucas, what is a" Roof "?

    And I as a BIM expert I have to adapt the notions of architecture from Brazil to Revit and the project.

    Well, here in Brazil we are waiting for the last two parts of our NBR, precisely on components that have not yet come out

    Nice talk